Chennai: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS members will have to bring out their new full pants for rallies that they plan in Tamil Nadu in October to celebrate Vijayadashmi, with the state's high court saying they cannot march in the half pants that they have worn for nine decades.
- RSS has planned several rallies in Tamil Nadu to celebrate Vijayadashmi
- Court nixes police ban on rallies but says cannot march in the half pants
- Chennai law bans processions in outfits that resemble uniforms of forces
The RSS, which does not have as big a presence in Tamil Nadu as it does in other southern states, will have about 200 to 300 workers marching in each of the 14 processions it plans across the state. In Kanyakumari and Coimbatore they expect an assembly of around two thousand members. The police had disallowed the processions saying it feared law and order problems, but the court said on Monday that the RSS can hold its event as long as it gets out the full pants.
The Chennai City Police Act, authorities say, bans processions in outfits that resemble the uniforms of the armed forces or the police. The white shirts and knee length khaki shorts that has been the RSS uniform for years, is very similar to the state police's physical training gear.
Fortunately for them, most RSS workers are expected to have at hand the organisation's new uniform - white shirt and full-length dark khaki trousers, black cap, canvas belt, dark brown socks, black shoes and bamboo cane - to be inaugurated across the country on Vijayadashmi.
The bamboo cane though will have to be left back home for this year's rallies in Tamil Nadu, as the police see as a weapon.
The RSS has accused the state's ruling AIADMK and main opposition party, the DMK, of playing politics. "Both Dravidian parties don't want RSS to expose themselves to people of Tamil Nadu. Of course they are scared," alleged N Babu Manohar, who represented the RSS in court.
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's AIADMK said this was the police's decision and the party had no role to play in it.
The DMK said the RSS lawyer's allegation is "absurd".
"This is the land of rationalist leader Periyar. There is no following for the RSS here," said DMK spokesperson Thamizhan Prasanna.